14 Replies Latest reply on Jun 1, 2017 10:36 AM by DmitriyA

    ICH6-M initialization in AHCI mode

    DmitriyA

      Hi All,

       

      What exactly should be done to initialize southbridge ICH6-M in AHCI mode? (I suppose that's what BIOS does every time before handing control over to OS)

       

      Many thanks in advance!

        • 1. Re: ICH6-M initialization in AHCI mode
          Intel Corporation
          This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

          Hello :
           
          In regard to your inquiry, in order for us to provide the most accurate response could you please provide the model of the motherboard or laptop that you are using?
           
          Any further questions, please let me know.
           
          Regards
           
          Alberto
           

          • 2. Re: ICH6-M initialization in AHCI mode
            DmitriyA

            Hi Alberto,

             

            Thanks for your reply. It's [Mobile Intel i915PM Express chipset based] IBM ThinkPad T43 with ATI Mobility Radeon X300 graphics (machine type 2669-YJ6, serial number L3-LLXC4). I don't have motherboard number unfortunately.

             

             

            Best Regards,

             

            D.

            • 3. Re: ICH6-M initialization in AHCI mode
              Intel Corporation
              This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

              Hello :
               
              Thank you very much for providing that information.
               
              Basically to initialize the southbridge ICH6-M in AHCI you just need to enter the BIOS and look for an option that says SATA Mode, in there you should be able to see the option AHCI, you just need to select that option.
               
              Now, if Windows was installed with a Different SATA mode like IDE or RAID, the once you change it to AHCI you will need to install Windows again.
               
              Also, there are some drivers that are needed depending on the Windows version you are using, those drivers are called F6 drivers, if you have Windows 7 or higher the there is no need to install them, but if you have a previous version of Windows you need to do that, here is the link for you to see the instructions of how to do that, please look for “Install the RAID driver using the F6 installation method” in the link:
               
              http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/boards-and-kits/000005864.html
               
              Any questions, please let me know.
               
              Regards
               
              Alberto
               

              • 4. Re: ICH6-M initialization in AHCI mode
                DmitriyA

                Hi Alberto,

                 

                The problem is that there's no AHCI-IDE switch in that BIOS, hence wondering what exactly would BIOS have to do to initialize ICH6-M in AHCI mode if it had such switch and it was set to AHCI?

                ICH6-M datasheet suggests "AHCI Enable" parameter needs setting to 1 as shown in the screenshot attached - what else?

                https://s28.postimg.org/gu22w1km5/Capture.png

                 

                 

                Many thanks,


                D.

                • 5. Re: ICH6-M initialization in AHCI mode
                  Intel Corporation
                  This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                  Hello :
                   
                  Thank you very much for letting us know there is no option to switch to AHCI on that BIOS.
                   
                  In this case we will do some research and start an investigation in order to gather the information you are looking for.
                   
                  As soon as I get any updates, I will post all the details on this thread.
                   
                  Any questions, please let me know.
                   
                  Regards
                   
                  Alberto
                   

                  • 6. Re: ICH6-M initialization in AHCI mode
                    Intel Corporation
                    This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                    Hello :
                     
                    I just wanted to let you know that I just received the information after the investigation was completed and based on that the steps that should be done to initialize southbridge ICH6-M in AHCI mode will depend on the type of BIOS the computer has.

                    There are big companies that develop BIOS such as American Megatrends and Phoenix, so, in order to get the information you are looking for the best thing to do will be to get in contact with IBM directly, since they are the manufacturer of the PC and they should be able to let you know which is the developer of the BIOS and for them to provide the details you need.
                     
                    IBM’s phone number: 1 877-426-6006
                     
                    IBM’ support site: https://support.podc.sl.edst.ibm.com/support/home/
                     
                    Any questions, please let me know.
                     
                    Regards
                     
                    Alberto
                     

                    • 7. Re: ICH6-M initialization in AHCI mode
                      DmitriyA

                      Hi Alberto - thank you,

                       

                      In such case would you be able to share the common steps that must be executed by all BIOSes to put ICH6-M into AHCI mode at boot? Above I mentioned what I believe is one of them but there are likely more. I assume this information is not confidential. That'll help me in particular talk to my BIOS supplier Phoenix if I manage to get hold of someone technical there.

                       

                       

                      Many thanks,


                      D.

                      • 8. Re: ICH6-M initialization in AHCI mode
                        Intel Corporation
                        This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                        Hello :
                         
                        We will check if there is a document available that provides the information you are looking for.
                         
                        As soon as I get any updates I will let you know that information on this thread.
                         
                        Any questions, please let me know.
                         
                        Regards
                         
                        Alberto
                         

                        • 9. Re: ICH6-M initialization in AHCI mode
                          Intel Corporation
                          This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                          Hello :

                          I just received the updates from our investigation and the thing is that the BIOS interface is developed by the BIOS manufacturers, as an example: Phoenix or American Megatrends. They create their BIOS and provide that to computer manufacturers so they can add the limitations based on their needs.

                          So, in order to get the information that you need, the best thing to do will be to get in contact with the manufacturer of the computer, in this case IBM for further assistance on the BIOS configuration.

                          Any questions, please let me know.
                           
                          Regards
                           
                          Alberto
                           

                          • 10. Re: ICH6-M initialization in AHCI mode
                            DmitriyA

                            Hi Alberto,

                             

                            To write BIOS, any BIOS manufacturer needs documentation on the hardware, such as CPU, chipset etc, which contains interface specifications for all those components. The best source of such documentation for them is always the hardware maker, i.e. Intel in our case. Intel clearly supplies as complete documentation to them as they require to write BIOS. May I ask the reason why Intel is basically doing its best at circumventing my request for the same? You never mentioned so far that such documentation is confidential, so I understand that nothing really prevents Intel from disclosing it to anyone. It goes w/o saying that I'm planning to use it entirely at my own risk.

                             

                            Thanks & Regards,


                            D.

                            • 11. Re: ICH6-M initialization in AHCI mode
                              Intel Corporation
                              This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                              Hello :
                               
                              First of all, let me apologize for any inconvenience.
                               
                              In regard to this subject, we will continue with the research and investigation in order to try to get the specific documentation you are asking for.
                               
                              I sent you a private message, please check your inbox.

                              Any questions, please let me know.
                               
                              Regards
                               
                              Alberto
                               

                              • 12. Re: ICH6-M initialization in AHCI mode
                                DmitriyA

                                Hi Alberto,

                                 

                                Do you have any further updates for me? The last PM that I received from you is dated 27th Feb...

                                 

                                Thanks in advance,

                                 

                                D.

                                • 13. Re: ICH6-M initialization in AHCI mode
                                  rguevara

                                  Hello

                                   

                                  I apologize for the delay in getting back to you.

                                  Your question I believe would be better addressed on a BIOS developer forum or by the manufacturer of your system, (We dont really develop BIOS'es as we purchase them from other vendors) and it is not just a list of switches that you have to enable as it could be at the Operating System level.

                                  I would recommend that check the following websites:

                                  - AHCI - OSDev Wiki 

                                  - Serial ATA AHCI: Specification, Rev. 1.3.1

                                   

                                  I hope this helps,

                                  Ronny G

                                   

                                   

                                  • 14. Re: ICH6-M initialization in AHCI mode
                                    DmitriyA

                                    Hello Ronny,

                                     

                                    Thanks for your attempt to reply. When I switch to AHCI at the OS level alone the laptop won't boot, apparently since a similar switch to AHCI is also required in BIOS, probably to initialize some HW in AHCI mode before handing control over to the OS. That's why there's usually a human AHCI switch among BIOS parameters. The reason for raising it here is that BIOS on this particular laptop IBM ThinkPad T43 does not have such switch, not because AHCI support isn't there in ICH6-M (we know from ICH6-M documentation that it's there) but apparently just because SATA interface was never implied to be used on that model as Marvell 88SA8040 bridge was added into its design to convert HDD interface to PATA/IDE. Now that I removed that bridge from my T43 mainboard (this btw is by far the best SATA mod for this platform) I have a native SATA interface and it runs much faster with a SATA SSD in it already. The last enhancement I was hoping to make is turn AHCI on to get NCQ, which is part of it.

                                     

                                    I'd be more than happy to ask my BIOS developer Phoenix that but I've been unable to find a single point of contact in their Engineering team so far. If you happen to have any such contacts would you mind sharing them privately, so that I can try?

                                     

                                    Many thanks in anticipation...